Hollywood NIGHTS

Tinsletown in Syracuse

The Salt City took its cue from Tinseltown for the Syracuse International Film Festival’s 10th anniversary celebration, with a gaggle of guests, several area movie premieres and other activities packed into its five-day run. From veteran performer Cloris Leachman munching on popcorn at the Landmark Theatre’s screening of the shot-in-Syracuse comedy Adult World to East Syracuse expatriate Bobcat Goldthwait getting choked up after receiving the festival’s Sophia award, there was always something special happening every night.

• The Oct. 2 opening night festivities honoring Italian movie poster artist Silvano “The Maestro” Campeggi at the Landmark nearly missed a crucial ingredient: Campeggi’s artwork, as the imported treasures encountered some red tape with Customs officials in Memphis, Tenn. The festival placed a desperate call with Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli’s office, which in turn contacted Sen. Chuck Schumer’s people, who called Memphis authorities to get the artworks released. Who says they can’t negotiate on Capitol Hill?

• At a Red Bull-fueled filmmakers seminar held Oct. 4 at Eric Mower and Associates, Pixar executive vice president of production Jim Morris stated, “Half of {a film’s} marketing works. We just don’t know which half!” No Lone Ranger jokes, please.

•Director Joel Schumacher calmly fielded lots of questions about his 1993 Michael Douglas movie Falling Down Oct. 4 at the Palace. When one moviegoer wondered if there was any overt symbolism concerning an image of running horses, host Bobcat Goldthwait couldn’t resist ad-libbing about Hot to Trot, his 1988 flick about a talking horse.

• Following the Oct. 4 Palace Theatre screening of the survival saga Frozen, about skiers trapped all night on a chair lift, director Adam Green offered some advice that he gleaned from forest rangers. If you’re 50 feet up, don’t jump down with your ski boots on because the heavy weight will fracture your legs and you’ll bleed to death. Otherwise, kick off those boots first before making the attempt, whereupon you’re likely to only break your ankles and you’ll be able to crawl to eventual safety.

• Another Sophia honoree was Bobcat Goldthwait, who got quite misty Oct. 5 at the Palace following a winning introduction by his Generic Comics cohort Leslie Noble, who recalled their teenhoods in warm detail. Goldthwait quickly regained his comic composure, however, as he presented his new movie, the microbudgeted Bigfoot thriller Willow Creek, as well as his movie directorial debut, 1991’s Shakes the Clown. Chatting about one conspicuous Shakes co-star, Goldthwait informed moviegoers in the Palace lobby, “That was the last time Adam Sandler worked for scale.”

Bill Delapp

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